Remember a few years back when Seth Godin announced that he wouldn’t be publishing his book by the traditional methods? He went on to say that he believes in his power of branding and will rely on it to make sales for him.
Author branding has always been an integral part of the publishing world. When a reader picks up a book by a particular author, he/she should be able to just bag it without reading its back cover in the full confidence that the book will give them what they want. Wonder how?
Let’s consider that you walk into a bookstore and pick a book by Agatha Christie. You can, without reading its blurb, say what the book will be able to give you, right? Suspense, mystery, intelligent detection and some good old-fashioned twist. Similarly, when you pick up a book by J.K.Rowling, you can bet for sure that you will come across wizards, witches, magic, loyalty and pure love.
This is what author branding is.
It is completely different from book branding where the authors are the primary reasons for selling the book.
It’s All About The Readers
Author branding can only be achieved be achieved by the say-so of the readers. If a reader can close the eyes and buy a book just for the sake of the author, then imagine the trust the author needs to create for the readers.
To brand oneself as a particular genre of author whose will promise a certain element, it is important to identify those readers and cultivate a special bond with them. Publishing a book or two isn’t sufficient to establish one’s author brand. Time and again, you have to prove to your readers and develop their trust by providing consistent books that pacify their need for that certain genre. Create a demand for the sub-genre your books are in and make the readers hungry for it. That’s when you know that your author brand is securely established.
When you think of writing in the same genre with the same elements, it doesn’t mean that you have to churn out the same characters in different forms with identical storylines. Don’t let your book be guessed by your readers. Keep it interesting and unique without letting go of your branding elements. Cover a certain range in your genre mixing elements and experimenting as you go on but have a solid ground of consistency in all your books that trace back to your author brand.
Branding In the Age of Digital
Coming to the main question, ‘Why has author branding become important than ever?’
Ten years back, stores were a common sight and if one needs to get a new book, we would visit a store browse through the hundreds of books in the store and pick one we like. In this age of digital, ebooks have conquered a good portion of the publishing world and the readers have options among millions of books in the same genre around the world. The chances of selling a book among a few hundreds in a bookstore and among a few million on an online ebook store are vastly different.
How can you make your book stand out from the rest and ensure that the next book you write will be welcomed with demand in recent times? Author branding is the only way in this competitive world to create ever-present demand for all your past, present and to-be-released books.
When a reader likes a book you have written and want more of it, they tend to surf for your other books first, right? But what if they weren’t convinced or satisfied with your other books? They move on to the next author and the probability that they will come back to your books are cut down heavily. If the reader likes another one of your books, then there are chances that they will read some others of yours too. And the next time you release a new book, the reader will, without any hesitation, buy that immediately. That’s how you create demand for your books which is a way of author branding.
Author branding is the need of the hour to establish oneself and get your own band of loyal readers and it is high time that authors concentrate on branding themselves more than selling a single book.